Since IT purchasing now involves the entire organization, tech marketers must redefine their position in response.
Purchasing B2B technology has become a corporate endeavor. It involves four out of every five workers, and the idea to buy can come from almost anywhere. When making a purchase, a single IT decision-maker (ITDM) used to carefully consider each step, consuming specifications and cost data. They are propelled by Anonymous Buyers, tech-savvy employees who see it as outside the scope of their job to sign checks or engage in sales conversations but who are driven to find better solutions and convince their company to adopt them.
The majority of B2B tech companies don’t take advantage of their high-value leads and opportunities. Since those people don’t follow the conventional rules of tech marketing, they are avoiding the very people they need to influence.
In order to capitalize on this potential, B2B marketing strategies must modify their approach to match the individuals in charge of tech purchases and the experiences they anticipate.
In the past, a B2B tech marketer’s job was to assist sellers in closing deals with customers who were eager to hear from them. Now, that function is to assist anonymous buyers in making purchases on their own terms. The following are five guidelines for developing tech marketing plans in the age of the anonymous consumer:
Flip the marketing funnel – earn loyalty first, then leads
Tech marketing strategies prioritize gathering information first, and after the contact information has been securely added to the database, they aim to engage, inform, and nurture the audience. However, in the age of the anonymous buyer, the effectiveness of this strategy is quickly dwindling. Only 25% of B2B buyers currently claim to be open to disclosing information in exchange for content access. This is because they don’t feel secure disclosing their information to a vendor they haven’t previously dealt with. Asking a buyer to become a lead repeatedly will only drive that prospect away.
Marketers must reverse their conventional marketing strategy and put customer value first in order to generate leads more efficiently and with higher quality. They develop the kinds of relationships that compel anonymous buyers to divulge personal information by treating them like anonymous clients. The first step is to stop using gated content as your primary lead generation tactic. Many of the tech companies with the fastest growth, though, purposefully go further.
Invest in broader brand campaigns
One of the most crucial marketing formulas, the Share of Voice (SOV) rule, has been largely disregarded by the conventional B2B tech marketing model. According to this, a brand’s market share will increase until it equalizes its share of voice within its category.
The opposite is also true: a brand with a large share of market that fails to keep a sizable share of voice can anticipate seeing its market share decline. A recent research for LinkedIn’s B2B Institute demonstrates that this rule holds true for B2B categories just as strongly as it does for B2C categories. However, a lot of tech companies make no real effort to increase their voice.
Cultivate the three R’s for the consideration phase
Research into the B2B tech buying process reveals that anonymous buyers weigh the benefits and drawbacks of potential solutions based on the three R’s: reputation, reviews, and recognition, rather than specific pricing and specifications.
As a result, tech brands that are well-known and frequently mentioned have a significant advantage. Delivering value to prospects before obtaining their contact information can play a significant role in fostering positive reviews, while investing in pertinent, original thought-leadership content is a key lever for securing a reputation within the category.
Set new MQL targets
A lead, rather than being the beginning of the nurturing journey, is the destination in the era of the anonymous buyer. The leads generated by marketing by turning the traditional marketing funnel around will ineluctably differ from the MQLs that the majority of tech marketing targets are based on. There won’t be as many of them, but they’ll be of much higher quality.
Tech marketers will need to work closely with their sales teams to reshape expectations around MQLs in order for this to be successful. The end result is to put more emphasis on the revenue those leads ultimately produce rather than on the quantity of leads they generate.
Find value-adding ways to introduce sales into the journey
Anonymous buyers don’t see it as their role to talk to sales – because they aren’t necessarily the people finding budget or signing off on a purchase decision. They defer to others to handle the specifics. However, it’s possible that anonymous buyers are more receptive to speaking with consultants, advisors, and experts who can assist them in finding the data they require, set them up with a trial version, or maximize the value of a freemium service. These exchanges appear to be more like pre-customer service than sales, but they are a crucial part of the sales and marketing process.
These are experiences that sales and marketing can work together to deliver with the appropriate strategy.
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